The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) classifies over 6 million American companies as belonging to “basic industries field” and these businesses employed more than 136 million people in 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than 300 stock mutual funds, index funds, and exchange-traded funds are offered on the market by businesses in this category.
But what companies are in the basic industries field? This article explains what makes a company part of the basic industries sector and list of top businesses.
Definition of Basic Industries?
Raw materials and energy sources required for production in other industries are provided by basic industries. Because they are essential to producing essential products and services, businesses in the basic industries sectors frequently sell products directly to manufacturers rather than consumers. For instance, the production of automobiles and appliances that are sold directly to consumers depends on the steel industry.
Basic industries depend heavily on natural resources, so goods like metals, fuels, and edible crops are frequently produced with an export market in mind rather than a domestic one. Key products may occasionally be used as a form of economic leverage or as a way to encourage international trade alliances.
What Kinds of Basic Industries are there?
- Agriculture is the production of crops specifically used for food supply. Almost half of the land area in the United States is designated for agricultural purposes. The midwestern United States, specifically, produces large quantities of soy, wheat, and corn.
- Oil and gas have been used as leading sources of energy since the 19th century. Oil is burned as fuel and is frequently used to create heat and electricity. Similarly, natural gas is mined and distributed through pipelines.
- Mining is a process in which resources like minerals, metals, and coal are extracted from the earth. In 2020, American mines extracted about $82 billion in raw minerals.
- Steel is a ubiquitous building material because of its toughness, malleability, and relatively low cost. This metal is produced by mixing carbon and iron at temperatures above 2,600 degrees. It is essential to producing vehicles, buildings, and other infrastructures.
- The paper and pulp industry uses wood materials to produce products like office paper, printed publications, cardboard, and packaging. This sector accounts for about 14% of overall wood consumption and 33-40% of globally traded wood products.
- The chemical industry supplies industries with a wide range of gas and chemical products. These include artificial or lab-created materials like adhesives, elastomers, gels, monomers, and polyethylenes.
Top 15 Companies in the Basic Industries Field
What companies are in the basic industries field? Here is a list of some of the best businesses in the basic industries:
1. Chevron Corporation
- America’s most well-known oil and gas firm is Chevron Corporation. Richmond, California, serves as the location of this company’s headquarters.
- The corporation produces millions of barrels daily with the primary goal of meeting the world’s transportation-related oil demand. They employ more than 77,000 people across many industries in more than 50 countries.
- If you want to work in this field, you can choose from various positions depending on your training and experience, including those in engineering, human resources, finance, information technology, and other fields.
2. PPG Industries
- PPG Industries is an American company that produces paints, coatings, and associated goods to create mineral and construction materials. The biggest privately held company in the world that offers custom paints and varnishes is PPG.
- Winsor and Newton, Schwab, and Colfax were among the five smaller businesses combined to form the corporation in 1918. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, serves as the company’s headquarters.
3. Procter & Gamble Company
- One of the most well-known American firms is Procter and Gamble, which produces a variety of everyday household goods as well as products for individual care, including shampoo, skincare items, and laundry detergent.
- Over the years, P&T has successfully launched numerous brands and built a remarkable presence in more than 60 nations. The main office of this sector is located in Cincinnati, Ohio, founded in 1969.
- You can work in this business as a student or a professional, and they have a total of 99,000 employees. The workplace is pleasant, and the corporation upholds ethical standards to give its employees a sustainable future.
- The world’s largest supplier of feed ingredients and refrigerated food is Cargill. The J. W. Cargill Corporation and the Dominion Stockyard Company merged to become the business in 1915.
- Privately held J. M. Martel & Company, which makes refrigerated trailers, was purchased by Cargill in 1995. The Cargill Company of South Africa is an affiliate of Cargill.
5. International Paper
- This business, founded in 1915, has an annual revenue of $21,000 billion and is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee.
- International Paper produces the sheets and other materials needed to publish a newspaper. Additionally, they create the pulp needed to make items like diapers, tissue, and other goods.
- When it comes to the company’s workforce, 50,000 people are working there altogether. The corporation’s employment can have several advantages, including retirement plans, health advantages, vacation time, etc.
6. Rudolph and Sletten
- German-American brothers Rudolph and Sletten immigrated to the country in the early 1900s and became naturalized citizens. When the brothers established the Stiegl corporation in 1924, they embarked on a lucrative endeavor.
- The brothers bought a distillery in Glarus, Switzerland, and renamed it Stiegl. They then started building the largest steel-frame tower in the world, which is still visible today.
- The business, which is still privately held, is the second-largest producer of baking powder worldwide.
7. DuPont de Nemours
- Since its founding in 1802, DuPont de Nemours has undergone several improvements to establish itself as a leader in the sector of basic industries. This business provides raw materials to numerous significant industries.
- The company collaborates with various brands, including Corian Design, Delrin, Kapton, Cyrel, and Great Stuff.
- The availability of work possibilities across the various corporate sites results from these partnerships and developments. You can operate in the supply chain, marketing, IT, manufacturing, health & security, and engineering.
8. Masco Corporation
- In 1929, Alex Manoogian and his two partners established the Masco Corporation.
- The company specializes in design and construction by creating and selling home renovation items. BrassCraft, Delta, FranklinBrass, Cobra, BEHR, and Kichler are some of the more well-known Masco brands.
- Masco has more than 18,000 workers throughout 28 North American manufacturing plants and 10 overseas facilities. You can work for this organization as a technician, sales expert, paint expert, milling operator, or quality management inspector.
9. Sealed Air Corporation
- An American corporation named Sealed Air Corporation manufactures and sells various goods for use in homes, businesses, and industries, including canned food, air conditioners, and humidifiers.
- A merging of three lesser businesses resulted in the corporation’s creation in 1932. Fort Valley, Pennsylvania, is home to the business’s main offices.
10. Newmont Mining Corporation
- Newmont Mining Corporation is a corporation that explores for and produces minerals and other commodities. Five former mining businesses merged to form the company in 1967.
- Twenty-one mines are currently under development at Newmont, while four are currently in operation. Denver, Colorado, serves as the company’s headquarters.
11. BHP Group Limited
- Headquarters Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
- This Australian-based mining and petroleum company produces essential materials like coal, copper, iron, and nickel. Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited (BHP) was founded in 1885 in New South Wales, Australia.
- The company’s total profits peaked at approximately $21 billion in 2011, and in 2017, BHP ranked as the world’s largest mining company. As of 2019, BHP had almost 32,000 global employees.
12. Dow Chemical Company
- Headquarters Location: Midland, Michigan
- As one of the world’s largest chemical producers, this subsidiary of Dow Inc. manufactures chemicals, building materials, and agricultural products. Its extensive array of products includes adhesives, sealants, plastomers, monomers, optical materials, silicones, and polymers.
- Dow Chemical is in about 160 countries and has approximately 54,000 global employees.
- Headquarters Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota
- Founded in 1923, Ecolab is a multinational corporation that provides services like geothermal energy, chemical processing, food and beverage processing, pulp and paper manufacturing, water treatment, mineral processing, and mining.
- The company employs roughly 50,000 people in over 170 countries.
14. Schneider Electric
- Headquarters Location: Rueil-Malmaison, France
- This French Fortune Global 500 company provides products and services related to energy management and digital automation. The multinational corporation delivers products like industrial safety and control systems, home automation, electrical grid automation, and power distribution systems.
- With nearly €29 billion in revenues in 2021, Schneider Electric has over 128,000 global employees and distributes services in more than 115 countries.
- Headquarters Location: London, United Kingdom
- Unilever was established through the 1929 merger of the Dutch Margarine Unie company and the British Lever Brothers soap manufacturer. The multinational corporation produces consumer goods like food, cleaning products, and personal care items.
- Unilever is the parent company of prominent brands like Ben & Jerry’s, Dove, Vaseline, and Hellmann’s; its products are distributed in 190 countries and serve 3.4 billion worldwide consumers.
How many jobs are available in basic industries?
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that as of 2021, 173,070 people worked in the mining industry, 106,440 worked in the oil and gas industry, and 348,500 people worked in the paper manufacturing industry.
- The basic industries can offer a breadth of opportunities for tech professionals. In 2021, 2,660 people in the paper industry and 3,790 in the oil and gas industry worked in computer and mathematical occupations. In the same year, 10,780 people in the oil and gas industry and 4,240 in the mining industry worked in architecture and engineering occupations, according to the BLS.
What do basic industries jobs pay?
- Many basic industries pay professionals competitive wages; in the paper manufacturing industry, for example, software developers earned a median annual salary of $102,190 in 2021, while engineers earned a median of $95,310.
- According to the BLS, in the same year, computer and information analysts in the oil and gas industry earned a median of $125,450, computer network support specialists earned $90,500, and computer network architects earned $128,960. In the mining industry, software developers earned a median of $95,990, and computer systems analysts earned $102,360.
Is a job in basic industries a good career path?
Most positions in a basic industry sector can be a great option for a growing career, as many of these positions aren’t just one category of work, but rather involve a large umbrella of work types. Many of these companies offer a wide variety of positions, making for plenty of options to choose from.
The following tables show employment statistics from various sub industries. These tables provide data that can help you decide if a basic industry career path is the right choice for you.
|Basic industry||Subsector||Firms||Establishments||Employed individuals|
|Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting||Forestry and logging||8,252||8,366||51,928|
|Fishing, hunting, and trapping||2,925||2,944||7,316|
|Support activities for agriculture and forestry||10,962||11,507||105,323|
|Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction||Oil and gas extraction||4,874||6,139||108,128|
|Mining (except oil and gas)||3,284||5,857||177,656|
|Support activities for mining||10,601||13,081||340,956|
How many jobs are created by the basic industry sectors in the US?
The following tables are taken from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and provide statistics of employment, job creation, openings, and hires in basic industries companies.
|Data series||Average hourly wage||Average annual wage||2021 employed individuals|
|Agricultural equipment operators||$16.54||$34,410||14,910|
|Farmworkers and laborers, crop, nursery, and greenhouse||$14.98||$31,150||210,380|
|First-line supervisors/managers of farming, fishing, and forestry workers||$25.33||$52,680||13,960|
|Logging equipment operators||$21.85||$45,460||19,290|
|Truck drivers, heavy and tractor-trailer||$21.55||$44,820||14,160|
In addition to the number of jobs available in basic industries, the unemployment rate for this area of work has decreased from 9.4% in February 2022 to 3.1% in May 2022.